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Self Improvement

89 SAVED IDEAS

Earth Day: Origins
  • Earth Day, the birth of the environmental movement, is about raising public consciousness about the condition of our beloved blue planet.
  • The first Earth Day was celebrated on 22nd April 1970, a time when industrialization was making American corporations consume leaded gas and other harmful pollutants, something which the average American was unaware of.
  • The rising consciousness was a result of a 1962 bestseller ‘Silent Spring’ which shined a light on the decaying planet, the condition of living organisms, and the link between pollution and disease.

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Self Improvement

In 1990, Earth Day mobilized 200 million individuals in over 140 countries, catapulting environmental issues on the global stage.

The recycling efforts across the world got a huge boost and paved the way for a UN Earth Summit to happen in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The Earth Day Founder, Senator Gaylord Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom.

With a new Millenium providing fresh new energy, Earth Day 2000 leveraged global and local individuals, the power of the internet, and over five thousand environmental groups in over 184 countries to reach out to millions.

It sent a clear message to those in power: Citizens from across the world demand accountability towards environmental issues.

As Earth Day completed forty years, it battled new enemies: Climate change deniers and oil lobbyists with deep pockets. Other challenges were a distracted public, shrewd politicians and a divided environmental community.

Yet the collective power of global environmental activists won over these challenges, and established EARTHDAY.ORG, bringing millions of people into the environmental movement.

Earth Day activates over a billion people every year on 22nd April, and is the largest secular observance across the world.

As world leaders are relentlessly valuing greed over the environment, the citizens of the world are rising up to take action for our planet and its inhabitants.

Dune: The Origin
  • In the late 50s, Frank Herbert, a freelance writer, was roaming the desert landscapes of Florence, Oregon, researching sand dunes.
  • His classic Dune got rejected by about 20 publishing houses, and soon after getting published by a magazine company, built up a huge fan base in the coming two decades.
  • Fifty years later, it is considered the greatest novel of the science fiction genre.

The story of Dune is set in the far future, with a vast, hostile desert being the hotbed of the action. The beautiful story is filled with treachery, tragedy and an addictive drug everyone wants: Spice.

The writer borrowed heavily from Islamic culture, and created meaty characters, along with the protagonist, Paul, being a man of destiny.

  • The book became the greatest science fiction novels of all time and sold millions of copies.
  • Dune’s official Hollywood debut happened in 1984, but it was a cheesy movie (with Sting in a codpiece) that was ridiculed. The grander, epic-scale movie was planned but never got made.
  • The story of Dune was then repackaged by George Lucas, creating a movie everyone knows about: Star Wars.
  • The book series continued even after Frank Herbert's death in 1986, with 13 more books getting produced apart from his earlier sequel works.
Aristotle's Practical Wisdom

The foundation of practical wisdom is derived from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. It deals with the question: How best shall we live?

To live well is to act well. To act well is the ability to do the right thing at the right time, in the right way, and for the right reason. To do that, we need discernment and the will to do so.

To merely have practical intelligence and skill can run the risk of what Aristotle called "cleverness" or "shrewdness" - the ability to accomplish one's goals regardless of the rightness or consequences of those goals themselves.

Aristotle suggests that having the right character puts one on a much better footing. To know the intention of an action is to know its real aim. To act rightly, we need to know the right ends we aim for, the motivation to want those ends (i.e. moral will), and the means to accomplish them (i.e., character virtues). This is practical wisdom.

For social institutions, like the family, the community, businesses, hospitals, governmental organisations, etc., their true aim must be known to function well.

Unhinged from its larger purpose can lead them astray. For example, politicians that vie for power rather than service, doctors working for money rather than humans, news outlets sensationalising for rating instead of objective reporting, etc.

One avenue for practical wisdom's application is in system changers. This comes back to Aristotle's original vision for legislators and politicians, whose primary obligation was to structure organisations and their practices to encourage others to learn to act wisely.

Practical wisdom cannot be learned in the narrow sense of learning as reading books or listening to lectures. It is embedded within the actual practices of a given role or vocation and can only be learned through hands-on, lived practice.

Techziety

Technology + Anxiety = Techziety

  • As time passes by, technology has been evolving continuously and many among the older generation are experiencing anxiety with technology.
  • We have turned to social media apps to connect with our friends and family and due to certain situations, even businesses and learning have all turned online using Zoom, Facebook, and other variants, thus began the Virtual Revolution.

Pros:

  1. Having a flexible work schedule
  2. Huge reduction in commuting time
  3. The evolvement of solutions to communication challenges

Cons:

  1. Deterioration of human connection
  2. Decreased attention span
  3. The expenses and functionality of gadgets within the budget range

With the upsurge of the virtual world, we tend to often worry whether we'll be able to connect to the meeting, gadget malfunction, or if you will be able to integrate the message you want to send through a virtual meeting.

If you're experiencing this, try these:

  1. Have a back up plan ready. If you have a presentation, print out your report or send everyone a copy in advance;
  2. Invest in technology, it will be worth it;
  3. Allow yourself to rest; and
  4. Remember that it's not the end of the world.
Loneliness Around The Holidays

Right after Thanksgiving, the sights and sounds around us morph into a familiar holiday cheer, with twinkling lights, christmas carols and classics on TV channels. It can be the best feeling in the world, but also can be an oppressive feeling for some, who are so lonely that they feel ‘mocked’ by the ongoing holiday splurge going around, with family get togethers and gifts.

The holiday times are cheery but stressful, and can be a harrowing experience for those who already struggle with loneliness or depression.

Much of the childhood holiday magic we remember was a sacrifice for most adults who wanted the time to be special for kids. True holiday spirit is a mix of pleasure, sacrifice and pain, a mix of emotions where our own sense of joy is hardly felt.

The holidays amplify the loneliness and sacrifice, due to the pandemic, global remoteness, joblessness, personal loss and the many unspoken feelings that become evident at this time.

  1. Call up your friends, or do virtual meetings.
  2. Adopt a dog.
  3. Start gardening.
  4. Cook with friends on a Facetime/Zoom call.
  5. Join virtual communities of your interest.
  6. Volunteer.
  7. Go to a nursing home and interact if possible.
  8. Join a virtual exercise session.
  • Wake up early, preferably after a good sleep.
  • Make your bed in the morning.
  • Exercise for at least one hour, or even just basic breathing exercises.
  • Go out for a walk in the sun.
  • Have a light and healthy breakfast.
  • Be decisive, compassionate and focused.
  • Meditate.
  • Say ‘I love you’ to your family members, near and far.
  • Be grateful.
  • Don’t use your smartphone or iPad before bed.
  • Eat chocolate.
  • Take warm showers.
  • Wear warm socks.
  • Laugh as hard as you can.
  • Read the comics.
  • Play your favourite Christmas movies.
  • Try new recipes.
  • Look at old pictures and read old letters.
  • Write down whatever is good in your life.
  • Listen to music.
  • Paint, sew and design stuff.

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